Indie Royale Serves Up The Alpha Collection

By Adam Smith on February 23rd, 2012 at 4:26 pm.

Last night I woke from chilling dreams in which my gray-haired future self was alphafunding six thousand games simultaneously and buying fourteen indie bundles in every minute of his waking life. Today, the new Indie Royale bundle has been revealed and those two trends of indiedom have intersected, which somehow makes my vision of the future seem all the more possible. The Alpha Collection contains three games that are in development and is currently available for a minimum of £3.17. The games are Towns, which I’ve previously written about and keep trying to find time to properly revisit, 3079, and Wyv and Keep. More on them and the bundle below.

Towns is an isometric settlement builder that has elements of Majesty and Dwarf Fortress lingering about it, with the player constructing a town atop a dungeon and trying to make a functional economy while also keeping heroes happy and well equipped so that they’ll stick around and kill the monsters lurking below. It’s coming along very nicely indeed.

3079 is described as “an alleged lovechild of Minecraft and Fallout”, with randomly generated everything making its RPG and combat tick along. It looks like it might turn out to be something quite special but also seems wildly ambitious and I’m not at all sure how well it works at the moment because I haven’t played it. Maybe something else to try soon.

And then there’s Wyv and Keep, a co-operative platformer that can be played alone or with another human being. Shades of The Lost Vikings? That’s what the developers would have us believe, in which case I am more than happy to try this one as well. Oh, so many games. I get bellyache just thinking about eating them all.

But what of this alpha bundle? More exposure and development funds for games that might not be as far inserted into the public eye as many of the other titles we’ve seen in bundles? Maybe so. As Towns is the only one I’ve played it’s the only one I can comment on and it’s definitely a game deserving of more attention, as well as being an alpha project that is progressing rapidly.

How does everybody feel about alpha funding today? How does everyone feel about bundles?

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79 Comments »

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  1. Ironclad says:

    So I have a dilemma: Towns and Wyv and Keep sem interesting, but 3079 doesn’t tickle my fancy at the moment. Is there a way to select 2 out of 3?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      No. If it helps, think of it as buying two and getting one free.

    • phr00t says:

      3079 developer here. I hope you give it a try anyway, you might like it :-) I also want to point out the trailer used in this article is an old one… the one on Indie Royale is the latest.

    • ScottTFrazer says:

      The current minimum payment is US$5, if you don’t think the 2 games you want are worth US$2.50 each, you should probably just move along :-)

    • Ironclad says:

      @ScottTFrazer: you’re right. I’ll pretend to take the money from the snacks I shouldn’t buy.

      @phr00t: I’ve tried your demo and, no offense meant, but your game reminds me far too much of minecraft to appeal to me. I’ve gotten minecraft burnout and your game, unfortunately, is guilty by association to the emotional part of my brain. That said, there seem to be a lot of very interesting design decisions. I was especially amused that the first item I found was a grappling hook, which minecraft really could have used. I wish you great success and GLHF.

      edit: I bought the bundle, for clarity’s sake

    • phr00t says:

      @Ironclad — I’ve been working on giving my game a more different look, since my game plays nothing like Minecraft. I’ve added more smooth terrain and characters, so it doesn’t look so blocky, and I’ve used higher resolution textures and a “darker” theme. I understand the Minecraft “burnout”, and that is why I made 3079 — to give people who liked Minecraft a different game. Thank you for your support in buying the bundle, and I hope you give 3079 another look in the future as it improves.

    • misavcxzb says:

      This is excellent – Towns has been on my radar for a few months now and I was just waiting for the moment to buy it. This way, I can throw a reasonable amount of money at it and get the other two games ‘for free’ – bargain! http://oua.be/die

    • Gnoupi says:

      Bought the bundle as well, and tried 3079… To be honest, not really impressed for now. Not on an engine point of view (it’s working quite good, though a bit bland so far), but more on a design aspect.

      I’ll agree that they are mostly original, but monsters’ models are really.. well, not my taste. It’s obviously in the “grotesque” kind of style, but I have difficulties to really like it.

      This, and the fact that the game drops you a bit in middle of nowhere without really an indication of what’s going on. But this, I assume it’s going to be improved before the final version.

    • enobayram says:

      @phr00t my little brain, under the horrible illusion of knowing enough to comment on anything, wants to make a few comments. 3079 looks interesting and promising. I’ll buy the bundle, and 3079 will definitely be a part of the reason. I would recommend you to go a bit easier on the colour purple. And please don’t use the darker theme as an excuse not to please us with a tasteful blend of other colours. Another point; the title “3079” probably means a lot to you, since you’ve made “3059” and “3069” too. But, simply 4 numbers don’t stimulate many emotions in anybody without a reason, I guess. I would recommend you to append the title with something that captures the emotion of the game. Keep up the good work and the act of feeding our insatiable hunger for creativity!

    • Geen says:

      3079 has good concept and all, but…
      The character models look like the crap that is Roblox mixed with some sort of grotesque Minecraft character imitation.

    • sincarne says:

      Installed 3079 yesterday, and played it a ridiculous amount. It’s definitely alpha, but you can get an idea for where it’s going.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Can I anoint the portmanteau-neologism “fundle”?

    • killias2 says:

      How about “phundle”

      It mixes al-ph-a, fund, and bundle.

      Too much?? Why are you all looking at me like that?

    • RegisteredUser says:

      “I’d love to fundle some well developing wimminfolk.”

      Also: You had that coming. (That’s what SHE said)

  3. pakoito says:

    I cannot even beat the minimum. I paid 0,10 in the Mojam because that’s as much as I could afford :(

    • BurningPet says:

      I can’t do anything about the other games, but check your PM in the forums for a towns key.

    • pakoito says:

      Thank you, that was nice of you :D Also thank you from the Desura Team because now they have a new user ^^

    • huw says:

      Wow BurningPet, that was awesome of you! A certain other indie dev did that for me a while back, but I’m not allowed to say who. :-) Indie devs are brilliant!

      Also Pakoito, welcome to Desura! I’ve found it to be a great little platform. :-)

    • Twitch says:

      You might want to PM me for copy of Wyv and Keep too; the more people enjoying it, the better :)

      edit: and by PM, I mean go to our website and email me (David) or any of the other team members, because apparently I am stupid and didn’t realize that RPS doesn’t have private messaging :P

    • Premium User Badge

      bonuswavepilot says:

      @Twitch: If you sign up for a forum account, they have PM, but not so much the regular commenter-style accounts.

  4. samo101 says:

    Isn’t towns free amyway?

    • carn1x says:

      It was until maybe 1-2 months ago, I guess the older version that was free maybe still is. Desura offers a 20 day free trial.

    • Unaco says:

      It certainly was… Their blog still says that Donations are welcome, but not necessary. But can’t seem to find a DL link for this latest version. Shame.

    • BurningPet says:

      We have been selling the game since december and haven’t updated the blog since we moved to our own domain.

  5. RegisteredUser says:

    If I buy the alphas, will I automatically remain entitled to all further builds up to and _including_ the final release and ongoing support, or is this going to be one of those awkward deals where you get to play betatester and bugreporter, but once the game actually goes somewhere, they want you to fork over cash anew?

    • phr00t says:

      3079 developer here — you will get all future updates, and the final version. We thank you for your support! :-)

    • carn1x says:

      There would be outrage, especially since bundles and alpha funding are powered extensively by happiness and agreeability. Also cotton candy :D

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Also unicorns.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Those aren’t Unicorns. They’re ponies. With horns. They used to be Dragons.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      phr00t, thank you for watching and replying and the info.

    • jesse says:

      Wyv and Keep dev here! Burningpet and phr00t already beat me to it, but let me say all backers will certainly get full copies for any platform they like, and we’re firmly committed to getting a full copy of Wyv and Keep into the hands of anyone who wants one :)

  6. carn1x says:

    Interestingly, on Desura, Towns is offer both in Desura install form, or as 4 ZIP files for Win32 / 64 / Mac / Linux, despite Desura not having a Mac client :) All DRM free I assume?

    • BurningPet says:

      Yeah, desura has this new feature where you can d/l the game directly. all drm free, cross platform compatible.

  7. christonian says:

    if you buy the package I know you will get towns until full build

    Check out my channel 9.5hrs of content on just Towns

  8. Suits says:

    I don’t think this will be in popular demand.

    • Mattressi says:

      I dunno; for me, it’s the first Indie Royale that I’m going to buy (and I’ve bought every Humble Bundle – just the other Royale bundles never appealed to me). I know it’s only anecdotal evidence, but perhaps there’ll be others who seem to just love this bundle.

    • Harkkum says:

      I also bought the bundle although normally somewhat hesitant on these deals as they seem to iterate virtually the same games bundle to bundle. I do recognise the risk that my “investment” of a few euros will never provide me with any finalised games, but I guess it is still a decent deal. Of course, if you refer with popularity to the millions made by certain humble bundles, then I guess you are quite right.

  9. mechabuddha says:

    I had already pre-ordered Wyv & Keep and got access to the early build. This game is an awesome puzzler, and I absolutely love the local co-op. And from the new trailer they released, it looks like online co-op as well. Keep up the good work, Jolly Corpse!

    • jesse says:

      Thanks! Online mode is extremely primitive at this stage, but as far as we can tell it seems to be working! We’ll be updating the online UI specifically in the weeks to come, so look for that to improve rapidly. (Also mecha if you’re a Desura funder you already have access, if you pre-ordered from the site you’ll be getting a mail very soon :3!)

  10. salejemaster says:

    It’s awesome how the devs of the games are reading these comments :) I’m going to buy the heck out of this bundle. all the games look awesome! Previously I only tried the demo of Towns and it seemed in geat shape. Can’t wait to try the other titles too!

    • Cael says:

      Yeah I was bit skeptical as well since I haven’t heard of these games before (and I prefer my games to be on steam), but after reading their commends I figured it’s probably worth chipping in $20. Besides, they all look like games I’d enjoy playing.

      Also to phr00t, that little info screen that pops up when you first run the game is the right way to deal with piracy, very nice.

  11. killias2 says:

    Towns looks interesting. Can anyone say more about it? Is it as complicated as DF?

    Edit: Complicated I guess isn’t really my main concern, although I’d love to hear about that as well. I’m more concerned about the UI. Is it better than DF?

    • the.celt says:

      Check out the YouTube links mentioned by christonian several posts above yours. He’s put in a big effort to explain everything. Even if you don’t want that level of detail, just hop into the middle of one of the videos and you’ll at least see the UI in action. To answer your question: Yes. The UI is much much better than the Dwarf Fortress UI.

    • BurningPet says:

      Ill be honest as possible. Towns isn’t even scratching the complexity of DwarfFortress. Dwarf fortress complexity is like an horizon for us – we follow it but we will never reach it.

      Regarding the UI, there is still a lot to improve and in the next patch (which we will release in the coming week) we have already improved more on it (having a priority panel to determine which job is more urgent), but even as it is now, it is a lot more friendlier than DwarfFortress UI. a lot.

      But given the fact that Df is such a deep game, it is understandable it’s UI will be much more complicated as well.

    • killias2 says:

      Good to hear. I’m no enemy to complexity or in-depth games, but DF is just too much.

      That’s the only game here that really interests me. Maybe I’ll throw down a few bucks.

    • porschecm2 says:

      Towns HAS a UI. Therefore it is better than Dwarf Fortress.

      But in all seriousness, Towns is an awesome game. Very Settlers II and Majesty-ish, both of which are very good things.

    • Harkkum says:

      I tried Towns after acquiring the bundle and I have to admit that already the second tutorial level was confusing enough to me. The moment I built the walls around an enclosed area a roof appeared on top of the area which made it virtually impossible to place the carpentry zone. I ended up building a number of “buildings” until I just placed the carpentry on a green field which seemed to work, although the workbench ended up in the midst of apple trees for some obscure reason.

      I guess that with some more trial & error testing the game will be most fun. Had to stop trying once the game prompted an error message asking me whether I want to run the game as an admin (on Windows 7), but I most certainly will be back to get my stone-gathering going!

    • wu wei says:

      “it is understandable it’s UI will be much more complicated as well”

      Its UI should be complex, yes, but not complicated. DF’s main issue is the lack of consistency through out the game; the last time I played I think there were 3-4 different ways of selecting regions, which one you needed to use depended on what part of the game you were in at the time. I think porschecm2’s comment isn’t really that far off the mark; I suspect it doesn’t have an interface as such, it has a myriad of independently coded interaction points.

      None of which is intended to diminish Toady One’s accomplishments in any way…it’s obvious that there are so many more aspects to the game he’s actually interested in focusing his attention on, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to decide what the game should lack in order to be more immediately approachable. Anyway, it’s impossible to really criticise someone’s labour of love. :)

    • Nil Einne says:

      Harkkum: You can disable display of roofs. One of the later tutorials which teaches you how to build doors also explains how to control roof display (ctrl or tab). This may seem slightly out of order but I think you were supposed to leave a hole in the wall in which case there should be no roof. (I think if you don’t leave a hole in theory they can’t get in although this didn’t seem to be a problem for me.) However I’m not sure if this was clearly explained, I did the same thing except I had already made the zone and placed the stuff I needed to before the roof came up so didn’t have a problem seeing what to do, and it seemed okay. (I tended to make my structurers larger then they suggested too.)

      BurningPet: Great to hear order scheduling control is coming in the next patch. I just finished the tutorials and it was definitely annoying not having that control.

  12. the.celt says:

    Towns looks great to me. It totally appeals to the side of me that liked Dwarf Fortress. I dabbled with it back when it was free and have been keeping my eye on it ever since. I’m off to make a purchase!

  13. Maldomel says:

    I’m probably gonna get it, but all those games in all those bundles! I happen to have a lot of free time these days, and I can’t even play them all like I want to. Please, dear indies devs of all sorts, stop making good games for a while, okay?

  14. Premium User Badge

    Hanban says:

    The trailer for Wyv and Keep was absolutely delightful. I’m not even sure I want to play the game now and ruin the wonderful image I have of the game in my head.

    • jesse says:

      Haha thank you for the compliment! But please, do play the game! ^^;;

  15. Caspian says:

    This is excellent – Towns has been on my radar for a few months now and I was just waiting for the moment to buy it. This way, I can throw a reasonable amount of money at it and get the other two games ‘for free’ – bargain!

  16. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    Surely it doesn’t make much economic sense to bundle up and offer at a discount games that aren’t even released yet and that most people haven’t even heard of?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Sure it makes sense, if you need some money to continue to make the game.

  17. huw says:

    Puzzle platformers aren’t really my thing, but Towns and 3079 both look *fantastic*. Bought!

    • phr00t says:

      Thanks man, it is great to hear people enjoying our games! I’m the one and only 3079 developer and I thank you for your support! :)

    • arccos says:

      What really sold me on 3079 was the long distance grappling hook and the awesome look of the Superman fist.

      It looks great!

    • neonordnance says:

      For anyone on the fence, I’ve spent 30 minutes with 3079 and I can safely say that it has a LOT of potential. Obviously it’s a beta and so it’s still rough around the edges but it does a great job of combining Minecraft-style open world exploration with ARPG-style loot hunting. There’s a fairly broad variety of interesting items and enemies and the graphics style is slowly evolving away from the Minecraft-clone look into something altogether more interesting.

      Definitely one to watch.

      One small niggle though: I accidentally pressed the R key on a humanoid instead of the T, he caught me stealing, and the entire faction turned hostile. I was pretty much FUBARed on the main quest from that point. Any chance we’ll see a slightly more forgiving crime/factions system? A factions screen like the one in Fallout New Vegas would be a great help, as would the possibility of bribing hostile factions back to peace.

      Additionally, the controls are a bit complicated, and I feel like they could be simplified into fewer keys. And I’d really like it if I could use ESC to back out of menus, without it automatically thinking I want to quit.

      I’m sure this stuff will be worked out in time. Thanks so much to phr00t for your continued work on this excellent title!

  18. caddyB says:

    Bought it. I mean, I don’t earn much but I view it as sharing half of this snickers bar I have with one of the developers.

    Or giving one of them a 10 minute lift, which is funny because I can’t actually drive.

  19. alms says:

    I wonder if they will add Survivors of Ragnarok as a bonus later… its inclusion in the alpha bundle had been already confirmed months ago, maybe they changed their plans?

    Anyway, I’m off to look for a therapist now, need to be rid of my Compulsive Indie Bundle Purchase Syndrome (CIBPS)

  20. Fiwer says:

    None of these games look too exciting but what the hell, I’ll throw $10 at it anyway. The premise of Towns at least sounds pretty cool, hopefully it’s not a clunky nightmare like Dwarf Fortress.

  21. Vandalbarg says:

    3079 looks like it’ll be amazing, but I’m not a huge of puzzlers, and with the new DF release Towns does’t interest me.

    I’d normally buy this, but between CK2, DF, and KAG (creator of Soldat made a new one. It’s pretty fun) my gaming time doesn’t have anything to spare nowadays. I’ll likely come back to 3079 at a future date however.

    • phr00t says:

      Thanks man! Don’t worry, I’ll keep working on 3079, so it will be even better when you come back to it (although I hope you enjoy it along the way!)

  22. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    3079 seems interesting, but I can’t figure out what to do. I wander around punching stuff ineffectually, being killed by things and losing all my stuff. Is there a quick guide to not sucking?

    • phr00t says:

      I added some videos and a guide to my homepage — you should check it out 3079.phr00t.com. Also, feel free to message me on Desura if you have more specific questions. Basically, look for friendly guys (Humoids, heads on top) to trade and get quests from to progress the storyline!

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      OK, I think I got it. Still getting my arse handed to me on a regular basis. My antigrav pack ran out, but I’ve got some more powerful weapons now (albeit a sniper rifle which requires more energy than I have to fire).

  23. valemosp says:

    Is it just me, or is the site down?

  24. dragomort says:

    Almost didn’t do this one for budgetary reasons, not to mention my complete lack of time. I’m very glad that I took a second to read the comments section here though and consider it a second time.

    Seeing/hearing from the devs and being able to support their too-publisher-risky ideas is something I can’t help but love to do in the end and why I almost always end up buying the indie bundles in the end –unless I own them all already.

    When I consider that I’ve got a $60 pre-order for Mass Effect 3 coming in, I can’t really then justify not purchasing 3 new and creative games at 1/6th (or 1/12th for the minimum, I suppose) that price (or equal to just the add-on day-one DLC) from people happily pursuing a dream that no few of us on here probably wish we could strive towards.

    I hope to see the end product and am glad to support the effort for this game and the future that such devs represent for gaming, much moreso than the majority of AAA productions of the past few years, in my opinion at least …..even if I have no idea when I’ll find the time to be able to play any of the games in the meantime :p

    • Premium User Badge

      Martel says:

      Funny, same thing for me. I was going to skip this (as in not even read what it contained when Indie Royale emailed me) and then I saw the RPS article detailing what games it came with. I had already been contemplating buying Towns, and then after seeing how responsive and friendly the devs of the other 2 games are (and the Towns dev) I ended up buying it anyway. And the more I look a them, the more excited I get about all 3 games, and I haven’t even installed them yet :)

  25. Gamma900 says:

    This is completely worth it, these games are great right now and are only going to get better. Go! Now! Buy!

  26. Tams80 says:

    I only paid the minimum as I received a shock the other day when I looked at my bank balance. =O If I like them I’ll probably donate some more (or buy the games again) when the rest of my student lo… I mean I earn more money.

  27. nootpingu86 says:

    3079 is hilariously bad, but it might turn into something cool.

    I’m not enabling this paid alpha test stuff anymore. Noooooooooootch!

  28. somedude says:

    Not quite sure what to do on this bundle – already have 3079, kinda interested in towns, have way too many platformers to get through already. Ah, who am I kidding, I’m hard-pressed to think of any games bundle I haven’t thrown some money at lately…

    I would, however, like to recommend 3079. Given that I also love Minecraft and have also played it extensively, I can attest that 3079 is a much different game. There’s a small amount of mining and building here and there, but for the most part the game is focused around combat and exploration, with some RPG-like aspects (including compulsive loot collection and comparison, albeit with somewhat strategic inventory management). The game is also undergoing rapid development, and has advanced significantly in the few months I’ve been playing it, with a lot of ambitious plans on the horizon. The developer is also amazingly friendly and accessible – I can’t think of any other game where I made a suggestion about an aspect of gameplay on the game’s forum, and the change showed up in the next update. (Not that I’m suggesting that is, or should always be, the case, but all the suggestions on the forum I’ve seen so far have at least received a thoughtful response from the developer). While the game is still somewhat early in development, I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot already, and at the bundle price there is absolutely no excuse not to get it.

  29. Premium User Badge

    mrwonko says:

    Buying! Heard a lot about Dwarf Fortress but never got around to trying it, probably because it’s supposedly so hard to get into. Briefly heard about Towns though (on RPS? I don’t remember…) and Dwarf Fortress Light with better UI sounds good.

    Procedural RPG could turn out nicely, too, and coop’s almost always nice. My backlog’s pretty huge, but since it’s alpha funding they’ll actually be better when I actually get around to playing them.

  30. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Chipped in. Just hope that these end up being completed one day. Not like that Cortex Command from one the early HIB’s

  31. Svipur says:

    Got a nice vibe of ‘Treasure Treasure’ from Wyv&Keep – bought the whole bundle at once. I’m definitely not the one to resist some Lost Viking-ish unvikings with a map editor and online multiplayer.

    Ran the provided build – didn’t work. (
    It just turns the mouse pointer into hourglass for about a second – and then nothing. Not even a stuck process in Task Manager. Same thing with the Cartographer.
    Reinstalled .NET and XNA using the links in the text file. Cartographer has come to life (hurray!). The game still does the same thing. (
    Awww.

    Would covering the screen in butter help?